Tu Bishvat – Seven Species: Barley
“Gideon arrived, and behold, a man was relating a dream to his fellow, and said, ‘Behold, I dreamt a dream. Behold, a roasted barley bread was rolling in the Midianite camp. It came to the tent and struck it and it fell. It turned it upside down and the tent fell.” (Judges 7:13-14)
Rashi explains that the barley bread was the symbol of redemption in this dream because the story happened on the second day of Pesach, the day on which the once a year Omer offering of barley is brought in the Beit Hamikdash. God was sending a message to Gideon that He would save Israel in the merit of this Mitzvah.
The Talmud (Megillah 16a) relates that it was the merit of the Omer of barley that saved Mordechai from Haman.
The Maharal explains that barley is usually animal food and represents God’s providence over the most basic life forms, even for those people who are as base as animals.
It is appropriate to take time on Tu Bishvat to review and recognize God’s providence over every aspect of our lives.